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Having an x-ray examination

What is a plain film radiography or x-ray examination?

Plain film radiography or x-ray examination is having an image taken of part of your body using x-rays. It will be rather similar to having an ordinary photograph taken. There is no special preparation for you.

When you arrive

Kent and Canterbury Hospital

Please report to the reception desk in the department upon arrival. This can be found by using the fracture clinic entrance and crossing the main corridor in the main building. You will be shown where to wait and staff will be informed of your arrival. If, after ten minutes a member of staff has not been to see you, please inform the receptionist.

William Harvey Hospital

Please report to the reception desk in x-ray upon arrival. This can be found behind the coffee shop in the main reception. You will be shown where to wait and staff in the department will be informed of your arrival. If, after ten minutes a member of staff has not been to see you, please inform the receptionist.

Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital

Please report to the reception desk in the Radiology department upon arrival. This is situated at the Ramsgate Road entrance which is at the rear of the Accident and Emergency department. You will be shown where to wait and staff in the MRI department will be informed of your arrival. If, after ten minutes a member of staff has not been to see you, please inform the receptionist.

Frequently asked questions

How does an x-ray examination work?

The Radiographer carrying out the examination will explain what is involved. Depending on the part of the body to be examined, you may be asked to undress and put on a hospital gown. You may be required to lie on a special x-ray examination table or stand against an x-ray film holder. You will be asked to keep the part being examined quite still or to hold your breath for a moment while the x-ray film is taken.

If you have any concerns or questions please feel free to ask the Radiographer.

Why do I need an x-ray?

The doctor in charge of your case feels that an x-ray is required to provide important diagnostic information relevant to your case.

Who has made the decision?

The doctor in charge of your case feels that an x-ray is required to provide important diagnostic information relevant to your case. Any queries regarding the necessity of the scan should be discussed with the requesting doctor.

Where will the x-ray take place?

The x-ray examination takes place within the x-ray department.

Who will be doing the x-ray examination?

The x-ray will be carried out by an assistant Practitioner (under supervision) or a Radiographer.

How do I prepare for an x-ray examination?

No special preparation is needed and you can continue to eat and drink as normal and take any prescribed medicines, unless we advise you otherwise. Leave any valuable possessions at home.

Can you bring a relative/friend?

Yes. If you would be more relaxed, a relative or friend can accompany you for your appointment but they will not be allowed into the examination room. However, parents may be present in the examination room when their children and being x-rayed. If unsure, please speak with a member of the Radiography team before your appointment.

What happens during an x-ray examination?

You may be required to lie on a special x-ray examination table or stand against an x-ray film holder. You will be asked to keep the part being examined quite still or to hold your breath for a moment while the x-ray film is taken. The area under examination will be positioned by the Radiographer as there are specific views required for each part of the body

How long will it take?

The actual examination will take no longer than ten minutes.

What happens afterwards?

After the x-ray examination you will be free to leave immediately.

When will I get the results?

After the scan, the images will be examined by the Radiologist or Advanced Practitioner Radiographer who will prepare a report on his/her findings. This may take some time to reach your referring doctor, but is normally within ten days.

Important safety information

It is important for you to make it known if you feel you may be pregnant.

Where can I get more information?

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